Gin expert and creator of the Gin Room Scotland Jayne Carmichael Norrie introduces us to Scotland's newest gins.

The Scotsman Food and Drink have been championing Scottish gin since our inception and we are delighted to see the explosion in popularity for surely what must now be one of the world’s most exciting spirits.

With distilleries and new brands popping up all over the country it can be hard to keep track of all the new additions.

Thankfully, experts like Jayne are on hand to keep us from missing out, and here she introduce us to 10 of the newest Scottish gins around:

No. 1: Persie Gin

Twitter: @persiegin 

Persie

What do we know?

Persie Gin is made by the hard-working partners Chrissie and Simon who also run the long-established Gin Club Scotland.

Simon has been using his expert knowledge to host gin nights all over the country, and he knows what goes into a truly great gin.

According to their site, smell is the sense that has the strongest ability to invigorate emotions.

Factoid: Apparently between 75 per cent to 95 per cent of a gin’s flavour profile is based on smell.

So far Persie have produced a Zestry Citrus Gin, a Herby & Aromatic one and their Sweety and Nutty Old Tom Gin.

Where can we get it?

Their Perthshire distillery is open for visitors from Thursday 11th August.

No. 2: Lussa Gin

Twitter: @womeningin

Lussa 3

What do we know?

We know Lussa Gin is based on the Isle of Jura, a place resplendent with potential gin botanicals. There are loads of photos of the team out foraging; it looks like so much fun. I’m pretty sure this gin is going to have a sense of exploration and adventure.

So far they’ve been out boating to look for watermint, diving for sealettuce, hillwalking for birch bark, searching for lemon thyme or harvesting Rose petals.

We don’t know much about Team Lussa, but it’s apparent they are a hard-working team that want to keep a close connection with the Isle of Jura in their gin.

Where can we get it?

Check out Lussa Gin on their Twitter page @womeningin and turn on notifications. Keep an eye out for their first ever launch of their gin within the next few weeks.

As it says on their website www.lussagin.com, they are not “just gin lovers, they are adventurers”.

 

READ MORE:  15 Scottish gins we recommend you try right now

No. 3: Royal Yacht Britannia Gin

Britannia 2

What do we know?

This is a brand new Gin made with Pickerings Gin, who live at The Royal Dick Craft Brewery Pub in Summerhall, Edinburgh. That part of Edinburgh is a real creative hub for Gin fans.

During World Gin Day (11th June) Summerhall hosts the Juniper festival, with Gin companies visiting from all over the world. The Royal Dick even has Pickering’s Gin on tap at the bar. Is this Gin Heaven or what?

The Queen’s former floating palace, Britannia was an ambassador for British business, promoting trade and industry around the world.

Britannia Gin is made from 16 botanicals, with each of those botanicals carefully selected to represent the Royal Yacht’s lifetime at sea.

During her 44 year career, Britannia travelled 1,087,623 nautical miles, calling at more than 600 ports in 135 countries. Situated in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith, visitors enjoy an insight into The Queen’s former floating palace, and the lives of those who lived and worked on board.

Each botanical originates from a port visited by the Royal Yacht during her 44 years at sea. The botanicals used are: juniper, lime, lemon, eucalyptus leaves, lemon, myrtle, liquorice root, bog myrtle, angelica, coriander, blood orange, orrice root, pepper, lotus root, cloves, rose petal and heather.

As someone who really likes their floral gins, this sounds like a great gin to me. The provenance of a product is becoming more and more important to gin fans, who appreciate value rather than volume.

Where can we get it?

You can get a hold of this unique Gin from royalyachtbritannia.co.uk with delivery to mainland UK addresses.

No. 4: Loch Ness Gin

Twitter: @lochnessgin1

aloch-ness-gin-launch

What do we know?

We know that we were lucky to discover Loch Ness Gin when we did (a few days ago), they are having the launch of their very first gin on Thursday 18th August.

They are one of a few fortunate gin producers who are able to hand-pick their own crops of Juniper berries from their land.

Their company has got off to a great start, having won a Gold award already! Their gold was awarded in the Global Gin Masters following a blind tasting competition judged by experts.

So what have we got in the glass? Tasting notes from the competition were: “Nose: soft and mellow with bright, leafy notes, plump fruit and a subtle spice. Taste: this has a pleasant mouth feel with a good viscosity; the spirit coats the tongue and the flavours gradually unfurl.

“There are perfumed floral notes up-front mixed with the dry, fruity notes of pear and peach. Then vanilla, cinnamon, juniper, angelica and pine blossom finish the gin and make the taste linger.”

The bottle is a bit special; semi-translucent with hot foiled copper front and back, which is apparently a world first. It is closed with a glass stopper and sealed with embossed copper.

Where can we get it?

Follow on their Instagram @lochnessgin and lochnessgin.co.uk

No. 5: Teasmith Gin

Twitter: @the_teasmith

teasmith-gin-header

What do we know?

This is another North-East gin, more specifically from Udny in Aberdeenshire. The Team at Teasmith wanted to create a gin whose flavour is made from botanicals linked to their locality, and that celebrate local history.

Aberdeenshire has a rich heritage that links the area with the tea trade. The Newburgh estuary, was once a thriving market place with tea being one of its biggest imports.

Aberdeen City gave rise to one of the most notable clippers to sail the seas. One of those ships, The Thermopylae was launched in 1868 and on its first trip set speed records on her way to Melbourne via Shanghai and Foochow. This vessel played a fundamental role in opening up trade routes with the Far East – and one of the key items they returned with was tea.

The Teasmith is a unique gin in that its the first gin to use hand-picked tea; a special black tea sourced by the team provides a distinct minty sweetness when distilled.  This complemented the traditional gin botanicals perfectly.

Also added to Teasmith is juniper, coriander, orange peel, grains of paradise, angelica, calamus and orris root.

Recommended Serves

Teasmith recommends serving with a mint garnish and a good quality tonic with low quinine.

We have experimented with Teasmith and really liked the citrus notes from the gin. Teasmith is also really served neat with ice and some lemon peel.

Where can I get it?

You can pre-order at teasmithgin.com, Twitter @the_teasmith, Instagram: @the_teasmith

READ MORE: New Gin Map of Scotland celebrates rise of Scottish gin

No. 6: Badvo Gin

Badvo

What do we know?

Badvo Distillery is the brainchild of Helen Stewart, an English Literature student whose family have been farming in Pitlochry for over 400 years.

When Helen was working in distilleries she was inspired by the enthusiasm of those working in the industry and how it is all-encompassing; crafting, branding, and helping people: “It’s a very creative place to be”.

The sheep-farming Stewart family have a few outbuildings that are no longer in use, and they want to use them to diversify their offerings on the farm.

Traditionally Pitlochry, and Perthshire as a whole, is thought of as whisky country. But having a verdant farm and the River Brerachin nearby makes it perfect for Premium small-batch Gin production.

The advantage of having a farm on a hill is that they have a wide variety of terrain; from grassland to heatherland, and from forests to bogland.

This variation in types of terrain is perfect for selecting botanicals; there will be many to choose from.

The botanicals for Badvo Gin will include Rowan Berries and Blackthorn, alongside Juniper which will be foraged from the family farm, one of only three Scottish gin distilleries I know of to use native Juniper (the other two being Loch Ness and Crossbill).

Helen is working with Botanist Su Black to finalise the selection of botanicals for Badvo. The Badvo have had great support from people in their town and have already raised over £5k from their Crowdfunding campaign.

Where can we get it?

It’s not ready yet! But coming soon. Check out their Crowdfunding page on Indiegogo and their site www.badvo.com

No. 7: Kirkjuvagr Gin

Twitter: @kirkjuvagr_gin

Kirkjuvagr bottles

What do we know?

This tasty looking gin has just opened its doors. For many years there has been only one gin distillery on Orkney; at the end of this year we will have three.

The team at Kirkjuvagr worked closely with the Agronomy Institute of the UHI (University of the Highlands and Islands) to create a blend of local botanicals.

So what’s in the glass? There is local Angelica, Bere Barley, Borage, Ramanas Rose, Burnet Rose, as well as Calamondin citrus fruits grown in their green house. There are a lot of unusual botanicals in Kirkjuvagr, which will make it a quite unique Gin.

It’s great to see Kirkjuvagr are investing a lot in Orkney; they are going to open an artisan distillery, visitor centre and shop on Kirkwall’s Ayre Road, the official opening is planned for next spring.

Recommended Serves

The team at Kirkjuvagr tell me its incredibly smooth and can be sipped neat over ice with a piece of orange rind. Their “Perfect Serve” for Kirkjuvagr is Fever Tree tonic with a twist of orange peel.

Where can we get it?

Kirkjuvagr Gin will be distributed through specialist retailers later this year, with an online shop planned also.

The first ever batch of Kirkjuvagr is already sold out, but you can hear more about them on Twitter @kirkjuvagr_gin

No. 8 : Esker Gin

Twitter: @esker_spirits

Esker

What do we know?

Esker Gin is another brand new contribution to the North-East of Scotland gin scene. Husband and wife team Lynne and Steve Duthie have set up a gin still in their back garden.

After buying a copper still from Portugal, what was once a hobby has now evolved into a commercial venture, with their recent debut at the Taste of Grampian Food and Drink Exhibition being a breakthrough into the local Gin market.

So what do we get in the glass? Juniper, Heather, Rosehip, Peppercorn and Citrus. Esker Gin will also have Silver Birch Tree sap from tree in the local Kincardine Castle Estate. Esker will be the first Scottish Gin I know of to use Birch Tree sap in its recipe. It will give the Gin a refreshing sweetness; Birch Tree sap is renowned for its health-boosting properties.

Recommended Serves

The Team at Esker recommend serving with good quality tonic and orange zest.

Where can we get it?

Facebook.com/eskerspirits and Twitter @esker_spirits

No 9: Forth Bridge Gin

Twitter: @forthbridgebrew

Forth Bridge Gin

What do we know?

This is an exciting concept on a number of levels.

Similar to Eden Mill in St. Andrews, Forth Road plan to brew and distil a number of different types of alcohol; beer, whisky and gin.

It’s unique in its ambitious aims to become the UK’s first sustainable brewery & distillery.

They plan to do this by using spent grain waste as the main fuel source. Forth Bridge Brewery estimate by doing this they will save an estimated 28,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in their first year. That is truly amazing. I’m sure their end product will be just as interesting.

This would be a great place to buy a gift for someone who wishes to invest in local businesses that take responsibility for the impact their trading has on the environment.

Well done to Forth Bridge Brewery to creating new benchmarks in corporate responsibility.

We can’t wait to try their Oak Aged Gin, which has been aged for 30 days and apparently tastes like a cross between whisky and gin.

Where can we get it?

You can find out more at fbbd.uk and their Twitter @forthbridgebrew there will be some products available for sale later in 2016.

No. 10: McQueen Gin

Twitter: @mcqueengin

McQueen Gin

What do we know?

A brand new Premium Scottish Gin Producer based in Callendar, they have really set out to be authentic and different.

McQueen Gin has been going great guns after winning a grant of £10k from the ScotEdge Wildcard Fund.

The family-run business is seemingly determined to be trail-blazing in the ever-expanding world of Scottish Premium Gin.

Their Smoky Chilli Gin includes Bulgarian Juniper, Chipotle Chilli. Smoked Chilli, Chilli and Lime. This is quite an intriguing Gin; this is one of only two Scottish Gins that are made with chillis.

The Chocolate Mint Gin has Liquorice, Vanilla, Mint and Chocolate, and their Mocha Gin has Grapefruit, Vanilla, Chocolate and Coffee.

Their Sweet Citrus Gin includes Grapefruit, Lime, Kaffir Lime and Lemongrass in its recipe, sounds like it will be distinctive and refreshing.

Recommended Serves

Smoky Chillli Gin – Martini with Dry Vermouth, Chilli Flakes and Lime.

Chocolate Mint – Chocolate Mint Martini with Chocolate Liqueur and Mint.

Mocha – G & T with Fever Tree Mediterrean Tonic and Orange Peel

Sweet Citrus – G & T with Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic, Lemon and Strawberries.

Where can we get it?

At mcqueengin.co.uk and selected specialist retailers

Twitter: @mcqueengin Instagram: @mcqueengin

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Jayne is the founder of the The Gin Room Scotland and regularly writes about, samples and reviews Scotland’s best gins.

You can follow her on Instagram here .

 

 

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Jayne Carmichael Norrie

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